Avoiding "Botched Bodies": my advice for choosing a reputable surgeon at home and abroad.
9th January, 2014
Today I was a guest on ITV's This Morning, where three brave young women were being interviewed following unsuccessful cosmetic surgery. I was there as an industry expert, offering my opinion.
Avoiding "Botched Bodies": my advice for choosing a reputable surgeon.
A recurring theme was the rise in "plastic surgery tourism"; these women, like thousands of others, had sought surgery abroad. Sadly, horror stories like these aren't uncommon these days, with the most gruesome results often featured in the tabloid press. In addition I have seen a dramatic increase in the number of women coming to me for revision surgery of all types – tummy tucks, breast enhancement, body-lift procedures.
It shocks and saddens me that so many young women take cosmetic surgery so lightly. Many see it on the same level as teeth cleaning! The lure of surgery abroad remains attractive, particularly as the UK can’t compete on the low cost offered by many international clinics. However, too frequently it’s a false economy: the amount "saved" by going abroad is dwarfed by the cost of subsequent revision surgery.
Of course, there are many reputable clinics and surgeons practicing abroad, so it is unlikely that women will stop considering them as an option. But how do you really separate the wheat from the chaff? Any procedure deserves deep prior consideration.
Before undergoing cosmetic surgery either in the UK or abroad, I urge you to please think carefully and offer the following advice to help you make your choice. No doubt much of it has been repeated many times and is common sense, but I feel that it does need reiterating in order to avoid the pitfalls of botched plastic surgery.
Points to consider at home:
Research your surgeon thoroughly.
- Is he or she on the UK’s GMC specialist register?
- Are they members of a recognised professional body, such as EBOPRAS or BAPRAS?
- Do they operate in an accredited surgical facility?
- Do they use senior consultant anaesthetists?
See 2 or 3 practitioners before you decide.
- Be prepared to pay for a consultation – after all would you expect to see a cardiologist or orthopaedic surgeon privately for free?
Do not make decision on cost alone.
- Your safety has to be of the utmost priority.
Ask to see portfolio pictures - all competent surgeons will have photos to show you.
Ask to speak to a patient who has undergone the same procedure.
Don’t be rushed into booking your surgery.
- Take your time after your consultation to think things through.
- See the surgeon more than once if you are unsure.
- Take someone into the consultation whose opinion you trust.
Questions to ask abroad:
Will you meet the surgeon performing your surgery before and after the procedure?
Will you have enough time to recover fully before returning back to the UK – at least 10 days?
Do they have associates in the UK who can perform the post-operative follow up?
What qualifications does the anaesthetist hold?
If you are unlucky enough to have problems during your post-op recovery whilst waiting to get home, will all the extra costs be covered?
There is no doubt that all plastic surgery is costly from the outset. In order to avoid it costing your well-being as well as your money, don’t cut corners, stay safe and make informed choices about your health. Do not take your body lightly: any decision made in haste is likely to have long-term repercussions.